Sarah Waller is an award-win­ning ar­chi­tect who de­signs be­spoke homes from her stu­dio in Doo­nan. She orig­i­nally qual­i­fied in the United King­dom, be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia 13 years ago.

1. Favourite time of day and why?

Go­ing to bed af­ter a hard day’s work in the stu­dio. Our bed­room is sur­rounded by glass and I love lay­ing there, look­ing up at the stars and moon and watch­ing the last flights go­ing into the air­port in the dis­tance.

2. What ex­cites you?

Get­ting up in the morn­ing, pinch­ing my­self and re­al­is­ing how lucky I am to live in this amaz­ing house and to love what I do: cre­at­ing great ar­chi­tec­ture for my clients.

3. Favourite sport? Player or spec­ta­tor?

I am not the most sporty of peo­ple. I used to be when I was young. Now it’s down to daily walks and yoga.

4. Best child­hood mem­ory?

Walk­ing with my fam­ily through the au­tumn woods in the UK. The colours were so amaz­ing. Prob­a­bly one of the few things I miss about the UK is the au­tumn colours. I def­i­nitely don’t miss the rest of the weather.

5. Where were you born?

I was born in a small town in the UK called Bish­ops Stort­ford. We have now been in Aus­tralia for nearly 13 years.

6. Where would you like to hol­i­day?

I am so lucky to live in this amaz­ing home that I have de­signed and built to feel like a hol­i­day re­sort. So when I am lucky to have a few hours to my­self, it does feel like I am on hol­i­day with­out even leav­ing home. That was the whole con­cept be­hind the house’s de­sign.

7. Cats or dogs? Do you have a pet?

Both. I have a Blue Point Bir­man cat called Tilly who’s white and a black Peekapoo called Boo. So even the cat and dog are mono­chrome to match with the colour scheme of the house.

8. Who are your he­roes?

The ar­chi­tects of the 1950s who were the pioneers of mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture as we know it to­day: Mies Van der Rohe and Philip John­son, whose houses have in­spired me since I was a stu­dent of ar­chi­tec­ture.

9. Dream job?

I am liv­ing, work­ing and breath­ing my dream job ev­ery day. I wanted to be an ar­chi­tect from when I was 12 years old. So I am very lucky to be do­ing what I had al­ways dreamed of.

What will you be do­ing in 10 years? 10.

I will still be prac­tis­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. Some of the world’s best ar­chi­tects pro­duced their most fa­mous pieces of ar­chi­tec­ture in their lat­ter years (not that I am quite there yet…)

11. What’s the best thing about liv­ing on the Sunshine Coast?

The life­style is what bought us here and the life­style is what keeps us here. Liv­ing in Doo­nan, we have the best of both worlds: the peace and tran­quil­lity of the hin­ter­land and only 20 min­utes to the beach, where we try and go most week­ends to re­mind us of how lucky we are to call the Sunshine Coast our home.


AWARD WIN­NER: Ar­chi­tect Sarah Waller. BELOW: The Doo­nan Glasshouse.

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